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How Do I Become a Construction Superintendent?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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In the construction field, there are many levels of employees from the craft force to the executives, all working together to complete a project. A construction superintendent is often an employee in charge of craft force and may or may not be considered management. The hierarchy of a construction company will depend largely on the size of the company and which aspects of construction it performs. To become a construction superintendent, an individual needs some specific training and may be required to have related education.

Whether working in residential or commercial construction, construction superintendents often gain experience as a member of the craft force. Many workers start out as apprentices, learning the trade from more experienced workers and then through experience and additional training, gain qualifications that advance them to positions of greater responsibility. Some companies require all employees to receive training and continuing education in areas such as confined spaces, hazmat, and equipment and personal safety. Other companies may offer to make these courses and training sessions available only to those who are interested. Either way, if an employee wants to become a construction superintendent, he or she should attend all mandatory and voluntary continuing education and training offered by the company.

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In addition to on-the-job training and experience, many construction superintendents have some degree of college education. While not required by many companies to fulfill the role of superintendent, education in construction management and related programs are beneficial. Some companies view project managers and superintendents as the same role, while other companies separate the two. The project manager may be considered management while the superintendent is a higher level craft force employee and may be considered a foreman or supervisor. Within the government sectors, construction superintendents may be required to hold degrees in civil engineering or a related field as well as having work experience.

To become a construction superintendent, most companies expect at least five years of experience in addition to a record of training and education in construction safety and management. Acquiring a variety of available certifications in the field will further punctuate skills and abilities. The job role of a construction superintendent varies, but safety, leadership, and quality control are at the top of the list. Communicating with and coordinating the workforce, subcontractors, and vendors may also be a requirement. Once you become a construction superintendent or foreman, other responsibilities may be assigned as the company deems them necessary.

Some companies prefer to hire experienced superintendents from outside the company, while others may promote from within, where workers can be trained to the company’s way of doing things. Nonetheless, there are many certifying agencies within the construction industry where training and education will travel from company to company. In order to successfully become a construction superintendent, a solid combination of experience and education in the field is required.

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